The Changing Economic Circumstances of the Elderly: Income, Wealth, and Social Security
AbstractHow is the economic status of the elderly changing and what are their prospects for the future? My portrait tells us how well off they are on average, but also about the vast disparities that exist among them. This description includes an often neglected measure of their economic well-being--the amount of wealth they control. Amazingly little is known about howmuch personal wealth older people have and how and what determines its distribution. But the conventional definition of household wealth ignores two critical components of wealth: the expected income flows from pensions and Social Security. For some elderly households, Social Security represents the largest part of their wealth. I conclude with some thoughts on one of the most sensitive and critical public policy issues--the necessity of reforming Social Security.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs with number 8.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: May 1997
Date of revision:
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
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